Fabric paint on calico
150cm x 500cm
This painting was designed to explain stacked hydrocarbon traps in fluvial sands. The audience was the Ugandan Government. The yellow, orange and brown objects are sand grains. Each colour represents a separate sand lens or individual bed that in turn represents a separate stream or river channel.
The steeply inclined line on the right is a normal (down-to-the-left) fault. In between the sand grains are areas of dark blue and light blue. The dark blue represents immovable capillary water whilst the light blue represents movable, free groundwater. In places red gas can be seen to accumulate and in other green oil. The contacts between oil and gas are different for each sand body.
The areas of dark brown, dark blue and dark green are clays and silts.
The three silver vertical lines are “man made” drill holes.
The irregular pale blue and white shape near the bottom and to the right of the middle drill hole is a fresh water, fossil shell.
Fabric paint on calico 174cm x 207cm
This painting depicts the suture between the East and West African Cratons, the Palaeozoic marine invasion, the West African Rift System, the sands of the Sahara and the Niger River.
The brown-purple, paisley pattern on the left is the West African Craton. The green-blue wriggle pattern on the right is the East African Craton. The rainbow marks the suture where the East African Craton was “welded” to the West African Craton during the Pan-African Orogeny, 600 million years ago. The pale to dark green ribbons represent the Palaeozoic marine sediments that transgressed the “new” African Craton.
The red “flames” mark the locations of the West African Rift System. These were initiated during the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean. The yellowish orange round to oval shapes that look similar to “potatoes” are the sands of the Sahara. In some places they demonstrate a preferred wind orientation.
The pale blue “ribbon” running from top to bottom is the Niger River where it runs between Mali and Niger.
The pale fawn to tan streaks that are sub-parallel to the Niger River are the silt banks left by the River when it was in flood.
NEW ZEALANDTERRA ZEALANDIA
Acrylic on canvas 94cm x 58cm
Zealandia is a submerged, vast tract of continental crust that was once joined to Australia and made up part of the super continent “Gondwana”. Today Zealandia is being squashed between the Australian and Pacific plates. New Zealand has only been above sea level for the last 25 million years.
The irregular red dots represent the world’s, largest, known, underwater volcano, Havre. It last erupted in 2012 when a tourist saw the floating pumice on the sea out of an aeroplane window.
ROCKING IN RHYTHM
Acrylic on canvas
110cm × 68cm
ROCKING IN Rhythm depicts where the oceanic lithosphere sinks beneath the north-western edge of North America.
A thin medium and dark-blue line runs from top to bottom and separates the bluish-purple oceanic plates on the left from the orange continental plate on the right. This blue line represents an offshore trench or subduction zone.
The oceanic plates are made up of light, medium and dark bluish-purple pillow lavas. The pillow lavas are born at the yellow, orange and red oceanic spreading centres. Red lava can be seen poking through cracks in the youngest pillows. As the pillows cool and become older, they are represented by darker colours. In addition, the oceanic plates are moving from left to right and into the offshore trench. As the oceanic plates move into the offshore trench, they compress, fold and convey the pale-tan and yellow sediment pile that collects at the margins of the continent.
The continental plate located to the right of the offshore trench is represented by a series of folded browns and oranges. Floating above the continental plate are the yellow, orange and brown sediment grains that have eroded from the continent and are being transported out to sea. The coastline is where the sediment grains are closely packed. The outline of Vancouver Island can be seen in the top right.
Once under the continent, the leading edge of the oceanic plates begin to melt, rise through the continent as lava, and construct a chain of volcanoes. Here, the volcanoes are represented as yellow, red and purple flowers, with the oldest lava flows being the darkest purple. The isolated lava petals are old volcanic debris that have been separated from their volcanic centres by erosion.
This artwork was displayed in 2010 on Vashon Island, Seattle (Washington State), in the world’s second art exhibition for geoscientists.
NATURAL GASGAS HUNTING
Fabric paint on calico 130cm x 197cm
This painting “plays” with some of the more significant features encountered whilst “hunting” for gas. The work exhibits both commercial and non-commercial gas accumulations, gas water contacts, cross bedding, an unconformity, a marine transgression and a cased, lateral, gas, production well.
At the bottom centre of the picture are the brown sand grains of a silty sandstone. The sandstone is displayed with tilted sharp tops that represent oscillation ripple marks accentuated by current drag. The current passing from right to left. Sitting between the brown sand grains are brown silt grains, making the reservoir silty, sandstone with poor permeability. The mid-blue represents moveable, formation water while the light blue around the sand and silt grains is the immovable water fraction. The red above the mid-blue is a small non-commercial gas accumulation. Above the small gas accumulation is a sealing, silty, claystone. The light brown is the claystone with the yellow dots representing the silt.
The green and brown-gold colours towards the bottom of the picture represent the gas source rock or organic matter that has been pressurised and cooked to expel gas.
Above the green and brown-gold source rock is the primary sandstone reservoir of the commercial gas accumulation. The sand grains are golden-yellow and surrounded by a film of pale blue immovable formation water. On the left and right hand sides the red gas and mid-blue moveable; formation water can be seen as horizontal. This contact is called the gas water contact or the GWC.
Above the primary sandstone reservoir is a series of tan, yellow and orange, diagonal, silty, claystone. These silty clay stones represent a transgressing fluviatile flood plain that was drowning the sandstone from left to right. The top of this flood plain is shown as a wriggly line. The wriggly line represents an old erosion surface with a reddish brown leached zone just beneath it.
>The dark blue clay stones with grey silt and grey sandstones at the top complete the sedimentary sequence with a final drowning by marine sediments.
The silver “ribbon” that stretches from top right to mid left is a cased, lateral, gas production well. Inside the silver casing are red “bubbles” of natural gas. Once out of the rocks and into the cased well the artist has taken liberties with the bubbles and shaped them like sand and silt grains. These gas bubble shapes are abstract.
EMPIRE OF THE SILICEOUS OOZE
Acrylic on canvas
61cm x 76cm
Chert or flint comes from a deep sea “factory” that takes micro-organisms and turns them into a hard, siliceous rock.
A pelagic, deep-sea sediment containing marine zooplankton (in this case Radiolarians) forms a biogenic, amorphous opal on the seabed – the siliceous ooze. Then through compaction, cementation, reworking, replacement, crystallisation, leaching, hydration, bacterial action (and a few others I haven’t thought of) the ooze transforms into disordered, crystalline opal. Further physical and chemical changes eventually convert the crystalline opal into a mosaic of microcrystalline chert (the grey areas) or chalcedony.